Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fighting Terrorism with Schools

Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, is featured in Parade talking about his experiences fighting poverty by building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Here's an excerpt...

"Young women are the developing world’s greatest agents of progress. Just one year of schooling will dramatically raise a girl’s later economic prospects, and where girls get to fifth grade, birth rates and infant mortality plunge. Teaching girls to read and write reduces the ignorance and poverty that fuel religious extremism and lays a groundwork for prosperity and peace. In military parlance, educating girls is a “force multiplier.” Thus, the flame that burns at the center of my work, the heat around which I cup my hands, are the stories of girls whose lives have been changed by education. "

Fighting Terrorism With Schools |

Chicago Food Depository reaches new record of demand

Some new data from the Greater Chicago Food Depository, courtesy of the Chicago Trib religion blog at
(The entry also mentions Bread for the World as a way to help feed the hungry)

"Evidence of the problem locally can be found in recent data released by the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The food bank established a new record for demand in September, with 427,660 visits to our member pantries in Cook County. The first three months of the fiscal year are 26 percent ahead of last year’s pace in pantry visits, and 70 percent ahead of the pace of two years ago.

Furthermore, poverty rates for Illinois (12.2 percent), Cook County (14.8 percent) and Chicago (20.6 percent) continue to rise. In Cook County, the unemployment rate of 10.6 percent was four percentage points higher than the same time last year and higher than the national average of 9.8 percent.

The depository has distributed 1.7 million more pounds year to date than last year during a similar period. Distribution of produce also exceeds last year at this time."

Monday, November 23, 2009


Sent to me by a dear friend...

A Prayer for those who have too Much
Sr. Joyce Rupp
Servite Sr. Joyce Rupp wrote this prayer
after visits to Guatemala and Liberia
o my brothers and sisters in developing countries;
While I was deciding which oat bran cereal to eat this morning, you were searching the ground for leftover grains from the passing truck.
While I was jogging at the health center, you were working in the wealthy landowner’s fields under a scorching sun. While I was choosing between diet and regular soda, your parched lips were yearning for the touch of water.
While I complained about the poor service in the gourmet restaurant, your were gratefully receiving a bowl of rice.
While I poured my ‘fresh and better detergent’ in the washing machine, you stood in the river with your bundle of clothes. While I watched the evening news on my wide screen television set, you were terrorized and taunted by a dictatorship government.
While I read the newspaper and drank my cup of steaming coffee, you walked the dusty, hot miles to the tiny, crowded schoolroom to try to learn how to read.
While I scanned the ads for a bargain on an extra piece of clothing, you woke up and put on the same shirt and pants that you have worn for many months.
While I built a 14-room house for the three of us, your family of 10 found shelter in a one-room hut.
While I went to church last Sunday and felt more slightly bored, you looked upon the earth and those around you and felt gratitude to God for being alive for one more day.
My brothers and sisters, forgive me for my arrogance and my indifference.
Forgive me for not doing my part to change the unjust systems that keep you suffering and impoverished.
I offer you my promise to become more aware of your situation and to change my lifestyle as I work for transformation of our world.
(From Xaverian Mission Newsletter)